Show 361, February 22, 2020: Winemaker & Proprietor Steve Lutz, Lenné Estate, Yamhill, Oregon Part One

Steve Lutz of Lenne EstateLenné Estate grows distinctive Pinot Noir vines in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Owner Steve Lutz began his wine career in Napa Valley, working cellars and managing tasting rooms for the Mondavis and Bill Harlan in the 1980s. He and his English wife Karen moved to Oregon in 1998, and began scouting vineyard sites after Karen inherited some money from her father Lenny, for whom the winery is named. Steve knew instantly when he had found the right site—poor soils and south-facing hillsides at 420-575 feet elevation are ideal for world-class Oregon Pinot Noir—and he planted his first vines in 2001. Six long years later, the vineyard finally achieved a normal fruit set, and Steve opened a tasting room on site.”

“Lutz is fond of boasting that his steep, 20.9-acre hillside vineyard has the poorest soil in Yamhill County—the ancient, nutrient-poor Peavine variety, which limits vine vigor and forces the plants to root deep into the earth and struggle for survival. Thousands have died, but the carnage is worth it; the dry-farmed vines that do survive produce small, naturally concentrated berries that yield distinct mocha aromatics, and rich mid-palate texture. The estate is planted to five clones of Pinot Noir (Pommard, 777, 115, 114, and 667), ranging in age from 13-16 years.”

A pair of Estate Chardonnays (classic in the Oregon style) were added in 2017.

Steve Lutz pulls the cork on Lenne Estate for us.

 

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Show 353, December 28, 2019: Bells Up Winery with Proprietor & Winemaker Dave Specter Part One

Dave Spector of Bells Up WineryMicro-boutique, un-domaine and always open by appointment, Bells Up Winery in Newberg, Oregon composes fewer than 500 cases of hand crafted, classically styled Oregon Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Rose of Pinot Noir and Syrah. It’s a 2nd career, passion project of Winemaker Dave Specter and his wife, Sara. The Chief Marketing Officer.

“After more than a decade of success as a corporate tax attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dave Specter was emotionally and physically spent. His wife Sara convinced him to leave the profession and they turned the hobby that brought him joy—winemaking—into his new career. The pair had fallen in love with Newberg and the Willamette Valley while on vacation in 2008, subsequently moving here in 2012 and establishing Bells Up in 2013. The first wines were released Memorial Day 2015, coinciding with the opening of the estate winery/tasting room.”

“Every Bells Up wine is named for a piece of classical music that perfectly epitomizes the wine and/or prominently features the French horn, the instrument owner and winemaker Dave Specter played for more than 20 years.”

Winemaker Dave joins us to pull the cork on Bells Up Winery.

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Show 353, December 28, 2019: Bells Up Winery with Proprietor & Winemaker Dave Specter Part Two

Dave Spector of Bells Up WineryMicro-boutique, un-domaine and always open by appointment, Bells Up Winery in Newberg, Oregon composes fewer than 500 cases of hand crafted, classically styled Oregon Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Rose of Pinot Noir and Syrah. It’s a 2nd career, passion project of Winemaker Dave Specter and his wife, Sara. The Chief Marketing Officer.

“Winemaker and owner Dave Specter and his wife Sara began making kit wine in their basement in 2006 on their five-year wedding anniversary. Dave, a corporate tax attorney, fell in love with winemaking. He left his legal career in 2009 to work as an unpaid cellar rat to award-winning winemaker Joe Henke of Henke Winery in Cincinnati. Joe mentored Dave for three years, during which time Dave enrolled in the Washington State University online enology course, earning a certificate.”

“In 2011, Dave won two amateur national winemaking competitions with two different wines in two months; a year later the Specters relocated to Newberg. Dave worked fall 2012 harvest under Bryan Weil, winemaker at Alexana in Dundee, and studied viticulture in 2013 in the Chemeketa Community College program. He also served as a member of the board of the Chehalem Mountains Winegrowers Association.”

Dave continues the conversation on Bells Up Winery.

Our wine journalist colleague, Cori Solomon, the creator of the LA Wine Writers, was responsible for organizing this trip to the Mt. Hood Territory and Willamette Valley in Oregon. Read her article and tasting notes on visiting Bells Up Winery from her blog, The Written Palette.

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Show 328, June 15, 2019: Irvine & Roberts Vineyards with Doug & Dionne Irvine Part One

Doug and Dionne Irvine of Irvine and Roberts VineyardsAt Irvine & Roberts Vineyards they grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in the distinctive Rogue Valley AVA. The Rogue Valley is the region where the first Oregon vineyard was planted in the 19th Century.

Irvine & Roberts employs site specific, small block plantings that are farmed and fermented individually. This approach underscores their commitment to search wines that best express the unique character of the vineyard.

Principals Doug & Dionne Irvine uncork the details for us.

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Show 328, June 15, 2019: Irvine & Roberts Vineyards with Doug & Dionne Irvine Part Two

Doug and Dionne Irvine of Irvine and Roberts VineyardsAt Irvine & Roberts Vineyards they grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in the distinctive Rogue Valley AVA. The Rogue Valley is the region where the first Oregon vineyard was planted in the 19th Century.

“Irvine & Roberts Family Vineyards is an alluring family winery in Ashland, Oregon, where we practice sustainable farming and produce ultra-premium Pinot noir and Chardonnay. Our high altitude vineyard is adorned with distinctive soils, climate, and east facing slopes that produce wines with extraordinary balance, flavor and intensity. We believe great wines come from great soil, so we strive to be conscientious stewards of the land, protecting our vineyard soils through practices that are certified sustainable by LIVE and Salmon Safe. We admit to being obsessive with our grape growing practices to ensure quality in the vineyard, keeping grape yields low and production limited to ensure the optimal health of the vine; allowing us to produce exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with elegance and balance.”

“In 1997, Doug & Dionne Irvine returned to their roots in Oregon with the desire to raise their daughters in the same place that they had such fond childhood memories. Choosing Ashland, they soon discovered that the 80- acre ranch they would call home turned out to be an incredibly unique vineyard site. The first vines were planted in 2007, and the journey continued from there when Doug’s sister and brother in law, Kelly and Duane Roberts, joined Doug and Dionne and created Irvine and Roberts Vineyards.”

Principals Doug & Dionne Irvine continue the conversation…

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Show 297, November 10, 2018: Winemaker Anthony King, General Manager, The Carlton Winemakers Studio, Willamette Valley

Anthony KingLocated in the heart of the Willamette Valley in the charming wine-village of Carlton, the Carlton Winemakers Studio is a cooperative winery where numerous winemakers (currently 15) craft premium Oregon wines in one shared space. It has a storied history as a home and launchpad for some of the most groundbreaking wines in the Pacific Northwest.

It was the vision of its founding partners, Eric Hamacher (Hamacher Wines,) Luisa Ponzi (Ponzi Vineyards,) and Ned & Kristen Lumpkin (Lazy River Vineyard) to provide a location for high-quality winemaking in an efficient, economical and highly collaborative environment.

Guests can visit their state-of-the-art tasting room where you can taste (and buy) a representative sampling of the Carlton Winemakers Studio wines and learn about the unique and charming stories behind each label.

GM Anthony King came to the Carlton Winemakers Studio in 2015, after eight years as winemaker at Lemelson Vineyards, with the express intent to continue to learn his craft. “The Studio offers a rare opportunity to continue to challenge your own assumptions, see fruit from across the Valley and beyond, and work alongside some of the best winemakers in the world.” he explains.

“Ratio is not intended for growth. It is small and will continue to remain so. It is a conduit for King’s ongoing attempt to understand and hone his ability to express the place and make wines that are both individual and worthy of praise within the context of wines from anywhere in the world.”

Winemaker Anthony King (Ratio:Wines) is also the General Manager for Carlton. He pulls the cork for us.

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